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The News Matrix: Friday 17 August 2012

Police shoot seven striking miners

Riot police shot dead at least seven striking miners yesterday, bringing to 18 the death toll in a week of unrest at a British-owned platinum mine. Officers opened fire when they were outflanked at Lonmin's Marikana mine, north-west of Johannesburg. Two police were also killed.

Coalition will bring in Dilnot funding cap

The architect of plans to overhaul funding for long-term elderly care welcomed the Government's belated support – but called for rapid action to prevent thousands of lives being "blighted". Andrew Dilnot said there was no time to lose in reforming the "broken" funding system. MORE

House prices vastly outstrip wage rises

The cost of a home in England has rocketed in 10 years by more than three times as much as the average salary increase. A typical house cost £121,769 in 2001 but last year the sum was £236,518 – a 94 per cent rise. However, wages rose by only 29 per cent over the same period.

UN observers to quit next week

The United Nations' observer mission will withdraw next week, diplomats and UN officials said yesterday, in another blow to the world body's efforts to broker an end to the conflict. It casts further doubt on the viability of mediator Kofi Annan's six-point peace plan. MORE

Orbit may stay open after Paralympics

The swirling, 377ft red Orbit sculpture in the Olympic Park may remain open to visitors when the Paralympics are over to satisfy the public's appetite for all things related to the Games. MORE

Murdoch's finest meet again in court

The Prime Minister's former spin-doctor Andy Coulson was one of seven people who appeared in court yesterday to face phone-hacking charges. Six former members of staff from the now defunct tabloid The News of the World, as well as the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, attended the hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court. MORE

Tension eases over island ownership

Japan has decided to deport Chinese activists who landed on a disputed isle at the heart of a territorial row, Kyodo news agency reported yesterday,. The move could ease tension between Asia's two biggest economies contesting ownership of the islands in the East China Sea.

24 killed in bomb and gun attacks

Insurgents unleashed a wave of bomb and shooting attacks that killed 24 people and wounded dozens in central and northern Iraq yesterday. The attacks made it the country's deadliest day in more than three weeks.

I've paid my taxes, says Romney

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said yesterday that he has never paid less than 13 per cent of his income in taxes during the past decade. But he refused to release the records that would back his claims. 

Guest traces Family Tree back to the UK

This Is Spinal Tap star Christopher Guest is to create a new documentary- style comedy series for BBC2.Guest – who played lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel in the legendary rock spoof – will direct and write Family Tree, to be screened next year. It will star The IT Crowd’s Chris O’Dowd, who also appeared in Bridesmaids.

Driver avoids moose only to hit a bear

A Norwegian driver who swerved his car to avoid running into a moose hit a bear instead. The driver spotted the moose on a rural road north of Oslo on Wednesday night and tried to go around it, not realising that a bear was also nearby. "We are currently tracking the bear," said Svein Erik Bjorke of the local wildlife authority.

BBC drama star joins midwives campaign

Call The Midwife star Jessica Raine is doing just that – joining a campaign calling for more midwives in England. The actress, who plays the lead role in the hit BBC drama, has signed the Royal College of Midwives' online petition to try to recruit 5,000 more. More than 67,000 others have signed the petition so far.

West Highland Way is rated by Nat Geo

A walking route in Scotland has been included on a US travel magazine's list of the world's best hikes. The West Highland Way runs from Milngavie near Glasgow to Fort William. National Geographic Traveler ranked it with 19 other trails, including the Santa Cruz Trek in Peru and Tibet's Mount Kailash Pilgrimage.

Plaque celebrates Obamas' first kiss

The US President first kissed his wife outside a Chicago ice cream shop – and there's a plaque to prove it. The owners of a Hyde Park shopping centre in the windy city installed the granite plaque this week. It reads: "On this site President Barack Obama first kissed Michelle Obama," and there's a picture of the first couple.

Career Services

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Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

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Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

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The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

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Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor